oppn parties Delhi Elections: How Will The People Vote After The Vitriolic Campaign?

News Snippets

  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
  • US secretary of state Mike Pompeo says China was "incredibly aggressive" at the LAC and India did its best to respond calmly
  • India reaches 700000 corona cases and 20000 deaths due to the disease
  • West Bengal plans to create a plasma bank for Covid patients
  • Chargesheet filed against arrested J&K police officer Devinder Singh and others. Singh accused of being a Pakistani informer
  • Very few people visit ASI monuments that were opened on Monday
  • Sensex gains 1500 points in four trading sessions in July
  • The Centre says final year university exams should be held in September and degrees should only be given on the basis of exams
  • Trade surplus for India in June for the first time in 18 years
  • Highway ministry increases the border roads upkeep fund by four times
After four months of standoff, including a bloody clash, India and China agree on pulling back troops at the LAC
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Delhi Elections: How Will The People Vote After The Vitriolic Campaign?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-08 09:01:47

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The people of Delhi will finally be relieved as they line up to vote today. For the past couple of months, they have witnessed an election campaign that was about everything else but the development of their beloved city. Although the BJP has, in recent times, tried to conduct all state election campaigns on national rather than local issues, the Delhi campaign stood out because of the extra vitriol in the hate speeches (desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko) and other efforts to polarize the electorate. The BJP was handed a ready issue by the Shaheen Bagh (SB) protestors. It remains to be seen how many people were swayed enough by its vitriol to vote for it.

Kejriwal's ambivalence towards the SB protestors and his last-minute visit to the Hanuman Temple might be seen as a panic reaction to the BJP overdrive. In the week leading to the polls, there were reports of an undercurrent of support for the BJP (although earlier opinion polls had all said that though the BJP would increase its vote share, AAP would still form the government). But should Kejriwal worry, given his people-friendly initiatives that are being appreciated by many? Yes. Indian politics is getting dirtier by the day (and in this context, one thinks that Amitabh Bachchan, who had called it a "cesspool" in the Eighties, will not find an appropriate word to describe it now). One's governance record, which should normally be the barometer of one's capabilities, is often pushed aside by 'other' factors. Hence, in the end, more people might be swayed by the allegations that the AAP has paid people to protest at SB or is supplying them biryani than they will be by the mohalla clinics or free commute for women in government buses or free electricity his government is providing.

Whatever be the final decision of the people of Delhi, one thing is clear: there is an urgent need to change the tone and tenor of election campaigning in India. What country would tolerate people at election rallies yelling for the blood of a section of their own countrymen? Who gives them the right to brand any and everyone a gaddar? Things, if one might say, have already gone out of hand. If there is any further decline in the standard of campaigning, elections might be won but the country, as we know it and want it to be, will be lost forever.